LDIF(5)                      File Formats Manual                     LDIF(5)

NAME         top

       ldif - LDAP Data Interchange Format

DESCRIPTION         top

       The LDAP Data Interchange Format (LDIF) is used to represent LDAP
       entries and change records in text form. LDAP tools, such as
       ldapadd(1) and ldapsearch(1), read and write LDIF entry records.
       ldapmodify(1) reads LDIF change records.

       This manual page provides a basic description of LDIF.  A formal
       specification of LDIF is published in RFC 2849.

ENTRY RECORDS         top

       LDIF entry records are used to represent directory entries.  The
       basic form of an entry record is:

            dn: <distinguished name>
            <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
            <attrdesc>: <attrvalue>
            <attrdesc>:: <base64-encoded-value>
            <attrdesc>:< <URL>

       The value may be specified as UTF-8 text or as base64 encoded data,
       or a URI may be provided to the location of the attribute value.

       A line may be continued by starting the next line with a single space
       or tab, e.g.,

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=exam

       Lines beginning with a sharp sign ('#') are ignored.

       Multiple attribute values are specified on separate lines, e.g.,

            cn: Barbara J Jensen
            cn: Babs Jensen

       If an value contains a non-printing character, or begins with a space
       or a colon ':', the <attrtype> is followed by a double colon and the
       value is encoded in base 64 notation. e.g., the value " begins with a
       space" would be encoded like this:

            cn:: IGJlZ2lucyB3aXRoIGEgc3BhY2U=

       If the attribute value is located in a file, the <attrtype> is
       followed by a ':<' and a file: URI.  e.g., the value contained in the
       file /tmp/value would be listed like this:

            cn:< file:///tmp/value
       Other URI schemes (ftp,http) may be supported as well.

       Multiple entries within the same LDIF file are separated by blank


       Here is an example of an LDIF file containing three entries.

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Barbara J Jensen
            cn: Babs Jensen
            objectclass: person
            description:< file:///tmp/babs
            sn: Jensen

            dn: cn=Bjorn J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Bjorn J Jensen
            cn: Bjorn Jensen
            objectclass: person
            sn: Jensen

            dn: cn=Jennifer J Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            cn: Jennifer J Jensen
            cn: Jennifer Jensen
            objectclass: person
            sn: Jensen
            jpegPhoto:: /9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAAAAAQABAAD/2wBDABALD

       Note that the description in Barbara Jensen's entry is read from
       file:///tmp/babs and the jpegPhoto in Jennifer Jensen's entry is
       encoded using base 64.

CHANGE RECORDS         top

       LDIF change records are used to represent directory change requests.
       Each change record starts with line indicating the distinguished name
       of the entry being changed:

            dn: <distinguishedname>

            changetype: <[modify|add|delete|modrdn]>

       Finally, the change information itself is given, the format of which
       depends on what kind of change was specified above.  For a changetype
       of modify, the format is one or more of the following:

            add: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       Or, for a replace modification:

            replace: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       If no attributetype lines are given to replace, the entire attribute
       is to be deleted (if present).

       Or, for a delete modification:

            delete: <attributetype>
            <attrdesc>: <value1>
            <attrdesc>: <value2>

       If no attributetype lines are given to delete, the entire attribute
       is to be deleted.

       For a changetype of add, the format is:

            <attrdesc1>: <value1>
            <attrdesc1>: <value2>
            <attrdescN>: <value1>
            <attrdescN>: <value2>

       For a changetype of modrdn or moddn, the format is:

            newrdn: <newrdn>
            deleteoldrdn: 0 | 1
            newsuperior: <DN>

       where a value of 1 for deleteoldrdn means to delete the values
       forming the old rdn from the entry, and a value of 0 means to leave
       the values as non-distinguished attributes in the entry.  The
       newsuperior line is optional and, if present, specifies the new
       superior to move the entry to.

       For a changetype of delete, no additional information is needed in
       the record.

       Note that attribute values may be presented using base64 or in files
       as described for entry records.  Lines in change records may be
       continued in the manner described for entry records as well.


       The following sample LDIF file contains a change record of each type
       of change.

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: add
            objectclass: person
            objectclass: extensibleObject
            cn: babs
            cn: babs jensen
            sn: jensen

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: modify
            add: givenName
            givenName: Barbara
            givenName: babs
            replace: description
            description: the fabulous babs
            delete: sn
            sn: jensen

            dn: cn=Babs Jensen,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: modrdn
            newrdn: cn=Barbara J Jensen
            deleteoldrdn: 0
            newsuperior: ou=People,dc=example,dc=com

            dn: cn=Barbara J Jensen,ou=People,dc=example,dc=com
            changetype: delete


       The LDIF parser has been extended to support an include statement for
       referencing other LDIF files.  The include statement must be
       separated from other records by a blank line.  The referenced file is
       specified using a file: URI and all of its contents are incorporated
       as if they were part of the original LDIF file. As above, other URI
       schemes may be supported. For example:

            dn: dc=example,dc=com
            objectclass: domain
            dc: example

            include: file:///tmp/

            dn: dc=example,dc=org
            objectclass: domain
            dc: example
       This feature is not part of the LDIF specification in RFC 2849 but is
       expected to appear in a future revision of this spec. It is supported
       by the ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), and slapadd(8) commands.

SEE ALSO         top

       ldap(3), ldapsearch(1), ldapadd(1), ldapmodify(1), slapadd(8),
       slapcat(8), slapd-ldif(5).

       "LDAP Data Interchange Format," Good, G., RFC 2849.


       OpenLDAP Software is developed and maintained by The OpenLDAP Project
       <>.  OpenLDAP Software is derived from the
       University of Michigan LDAP 3.3 Release.

COLOPHON         top

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OpenLDAP LDVERSION               RELEASEDATE                         LDIF(5)